Budget matters – how will George Osborne’s announcement affect SMEs?

Several members of the coalition government have made a number of loud noises about how the emergence and expansion of SMEs could represent Britain’s best chance economic recovery. However, the effectiveness of previous initiatives such as the Funding for Lending Scheme has been questioned in this regard.


Does the chancellor’s impending budget represent a chance to boost SMEs across the nation? What can SMEs generally expect from the latest budget?


Fuel duty rise


One feature of the new budget which has been widely anticipated and will undoubtedly affect a number of small businesses is the rise in fuel duty.


A 3p rise in fuel duty is expected to be introduced, meaning that any business which runs a fleet of vehicles can expect to take a hit. So, what can businesses do in order to cut potential costs in this area and absorb the impact of such a rise?


It might be possible to make small increases in your own costs to deal with the rise, as well as ensuring that every penny is accounted for by fitting devices on your fleet which help to track the exact amount of miles that have been clocked up in a day. Even though this idea will require an initial short-term investment, the long-term benefits could be significant.


Which customers are working hardest for you?


It may also be worth reviewing your overall client base to identify any customers that are simply not worth the trouble. It may be that you have customers that are based considerably further away than your main client base, but who are simply not bringing as much business in.


In this scenario, does it really make sense to travel the extra distance if the ultimate reward is not as sufficient amid a rise in fuel duty? It could be a difficult question for business to ask, but approaching the situation with a strong attitude could ultimately lead to savings.


If you are part of an SME that is struggling in the current climate some financial restructuring could reap significant benefits in 2013.....regardless of what the budget brings.


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